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A Su-34 bomber crashed near a Yeysk apartment building in the Krasnodar Region At least 13 people were killed, and more than a dozen injured, including three children

Source: Meduza

A Russian Su-34 bomber plane crashed near a nine-story apartment building in Yeysk, a town in Russia’s Krasnodar Region. This was reported by the Interfax, citing the town’s emergency dispatch service. The plane carrying a full load of ammunition crashed into the communal yard of the building at 47/1 Krasnaya Street, around 6:20 p.m. local time on October 17. On impact, the ammunition aboard the plane exploded, and a fire spread to a high-rise building that housed around 600 people.

Update: The news agency TASS reports that the death toll has risen to 13.

Mash, a Telegram news channel, has published a video made just before the crash, showing the plane flying low over the neighborhood.

In an earlier version of this article, we wrote that two or possibly three people had been killed in the crash, 19 more were injured, and 15 had been hospitalized. According to the latest reports, a total of 25 (possibly 27) people have been injured, including three children of 8–10 years old. Six people have been killed, and another six are missing.

Following the crash and the eruption of a massive fire, the Yeysk district hospital set up 11 intensive-care beds and eight operating rooms to cope with the emergency. At least one of the victims was there by 8 p.m. local time.

The massive fire has damaged no less than 17 apartments in the building near the crash site, said Veniamin Kondratyev, the region’s governor. The town emergency dispatch service has information about 45 apartments with some degree of fire damage. In one of the building’s sections, floors have collapsed all the way from the fifth to the ninth floor. The regional emergency service also says that apartments between the first and the fifth floors caught fire. The local Telegram channel “Overheard in Yeysk” has cited its own subscribers saying that some people had to jump from the upper stories.

The total living area engulfed in the flames is about 2,000 square meters (about 21,500 square feet), said the town emergency service. The governor reports that “all of the regional and district fire and rescue brigades” are working at the location. By 8:30 p.m., the remnants of the plane had been extinguished. By 9 p.m., the town emergency dispatch service reported that the fire in the building has been extinguished. The Governor then published a video made at the site of the fire.

The Su-34 bomber crashed after one of its engines caught fire while the plane was gaining altitude, said the Russian Defense Ministry, citing the two pilots who managed to eject from the plane and supposedly survived. The bomber took off from a Southern Military District airfield for a training flight.

According to the pro-Kremlin war blogger Alexander Kots, the main version of what happened is that birds got into one of the aircraft’s engine at takeoff. Kots claims that the Su-34 was carrying shells that detonated in the crash. He thinks that the plane belonged to the 277 Bombardment Aviation Regiment.

The Russian Investigative Committee has opened a new criminal case in connection with the crash, without explaining what article of the Criminal Code has been violated. The Attorney General’s office is investigating the circumstances.

An hour after the crash, the Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered that all possible help be sent to those affected. The President heard the ministers’ and the regional governor’s reports, and ordered the region’s governor, as well as two ministers, to fly to Yeysk.

Around 350 of the building’s residents have been evacuated to a nearby hotel and to a summer camp facility. The Governor has assured them that they will receive all necessary help.

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